Collaboration in artistic practice has been an international phenomenon that results to a multitude of interdisciplinary works— providing a platform for the transnational and transgenerational. Although geographical, socio-political and cultural landscapes greatly affect diversified artistic intent, creative production and even audience reception, identifiability & identity remain critical factors in collaborative practice. Through the TPAM network, I have come to a deeper understanding of how collaborative work is developed in different contexts. The series of engagements in the program allowed me to identify and encounter both similarities & differences in the creative process of different practitioners.
Listening to one of the sessions, the idea that friendship is necessary to enable artists to collaborate was presented. Rethinking this, it is possible that friendship could be a necessary component preceding the process & output, but it could also be the goal or the result of the collaborative process. Discussing the purpose of intercultural collaboration was an interesting discussion in the same session. Why collaborate? Not having a concrete answer, this questioning led to another conversation on how collaborations are inherently political. Perhaps, friendship in this process-based practice allows for the strengthening of political, cultural ties across borders. Having this consciousness translates to a higher level of production that is inspired by more than just artistic intent relating to forms or technique. Instead, it grows from the personal to the societal level.
Being an audience for both the TPAM directed shows and those in the Fringe programming also moved for the discovery of new perspectives in creating interdisciplinary work. Seeing how literature and the visual arts are translated into performance inspires me to explore new methods in directing and performance curation. Being more critical of the form and process allows for creative innovation, exploring the development of new works.
It has been quite difficult to start a collaborative arts platform. I have been constantly seeking mentors and learning programs to understand more of arts management, performance curation, and the creative industry. It has been years of learning through events, books and people. It was a curious mind that brought me to constantly seek avenues to learn more and to develop my practice. Beyond theories and academic learning methods, I am always looking forward to experiences like this where I learn cultures from actual people, witness stories through performances and experience global perspectives in new environments. TPAM has led me to a new level in my creative practice. The experience has brought both discovery & rediscovery. It has given me a renewed sense of passion, a reenergized drive to constantly create & collaborate.
This article was originally published in The Japan Foundation Manila Suki Magazine July 2019